Penguins forward prospect Jean-Sebastian Dea had yet another productive year this past season for the Rouyn-Roranda Huskies of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL).
During the 2012-13 season, Dea finished 11th in the league with 85 points (45G-40A) and ranked first with 25 power-play goals in 68 regular-season games. That postseason, Dea ranked third in the league with 12 goals – including six on the man-advantage – in 14 games.
That type of offensive output might seem difficult to reproduce, but Dea did just that in 2013-14.
He set a new career high in goals with 49, which ranked fourth-most in the QMJHL, and ranked second on the team with 75 points. He led the Huskies with 17 power-play goals, six shorthanded goals and eight game-winning goals before pacing the team with nine points in the QMJHL playoffs, scoring six goals and three assists.
“I know everybody knows that I’m a goal scorer,” Dea said. “I had two good seasons. I scored a lot of goals in junior, but it’s different in pro hockey. I have to keep working on my body and try to keep going at the pro level.”
Dea learned that firsthand when he made his professional debut with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the American Hockey League on April 19, which the Penguins lost 2-0 loss to Utica. But the young player said the experience taught him a lot.
“I have more confidence,” Dea said. “I met everybody there, I know all these guys. I learned a lot the week that I was there.”
The 20-year-old Quebec native has certainly come a long way, as Dea went undrafted and signed with the Penguins as a free agent last September after attending the team’s development camp, rookie tournament and training camp.
But he knows there’s still a lot of work to do, especially physically. Dea is starting to make progress there, as he went from being listed at 155 pounds last summer to 175 this year. But he still has a ways to go if he wants to translate his game to the professional level.
“Of course, I want to put weight on and be bigger and stronger,” Dea said. “It’s what I need to work on and that’s what I’m doing this summer. I have 28 pounds on me since last year, so that’s pretty good. I think everything is going well and I’m happy about it.”